2015 Food & Wine Conference

Bloggers and brands gather in Orlando, Florida. Food, friendship, wine, and education ensues. So many great relationships are created and enriched, thanks to the Family Foodie, the Sunday Supper Movement and fabulous foodies.

For the third year in a row, Isabel Rice Laessig, founder of the Sunday Supper Movement, created a venue for food, wine, and travel bloggers, brands, small businesses, public relations professionals, authors, chefs, winemakers, and media experts to share their knowledge, to network, to learn, and to promote the multitude of unique skills and opportunities each provides.

Just a few of the decadent desserts

Just a few of the decadent desserts

A glorious gathering of bloggers and brands. #FWCon recap on @cabotcheese blog. http://ow.ly/PT0RX cc: @familyfoodie @SundaySupperFam Click To Tweet

And for the third year in a row the setting was the extraordinary Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Spa, perfect for the mix of meetings, fine dining, fitness opportunities, and much more. Several spouses were thrilled to be their blogger’s plus one in this gorgeous property.

A beautiful sunrise at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Spa

A beautiful sunrise at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Spa

Our official hashtag was #FWCon; we were all so busy on social media, the tag even trended on Twitter! The schedule for #FWCon was packed with events that ran the gamut from the fun and fanciful – making sugar beauty scrubs with natural aromatics and herbs at the opening reception (thanks Dixie Crystals!) – to the educational and edifying. There were panels on work/life balance, how brands work with bloggers, seminars on storytelling with images by world-renown culinary consultant and food stylist Denise Vivaldo, photography sessions, and even a session on how to become a successful travel blogger.

Team Cabot members making Lemon Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Team Cabot members making Lemon Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Attendees enjoyed sponsored breakfasts, lunches, and dinners created by inventive chefs, who shared their culinary secrets with the group. There were snack breaks that refueled and inspired, and even a chocolate stiletto waiting in our rooms to greet us.

A chocolate shoe waiting for us in our rooms!

A chocolate shoe waiting for us in our rooms!

Our favorite kind of snack break!

Our favorite kind of snack break

Cabot hosted an in-depth presentation on pairing wine and cheese, explaining not just the “hows,” but also the “whys” of perfect pairings. Presenter and Cabot Master Cheese Grader Craig Gile introduced the group to technical cheese grading terms and techniques. He brought a 34 pound wheel of Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar, and at one point invited Kelly Green, a.k.a. Seaworld Mommy, to help him demonstrate. The session included a selection of Hess Wines, courtesy of #FWCon sponsor Premiere Beverage.

Wine and Cheese Pairing Session

Wine and Cheese Pairing Session

Kelly Green, a.k.a. Seaworld Mommy,

Cabot’s Master Cheese Grader Craig Gile & Kelly Green, a.k.a. Seaworld Mommy

a 34 pound wheel of Seriously Sharp - #cheesedreams do come true!

a 34 pound wheel of Seriously Sharp – #cheesedreams do come true!

A close-up of our cheeses for our Cheese and Wine Pairing Session

A close-up of our cheeses for our Cheese and Wine Pairing Session

Let’s talk a little more about the food at #FWCon. Words fail when trying to describe the incredible quality and quantity of delicious meals, snacks, wines, and desserts provided by the #FWCon friends and sponsors. Both Beef-It’s What’s for Dinner and Certified Angus Beef treated us to tasty meals made with different cuts of beef, as well as providing great nutritional information as well as tips for perfect preparation. And what goes better with beef than potatoes? Idaho potatoes were in the house, the perfect compliment to so many meals.

A few of our friends made it together for a photo shoot!

A few of our friends made it together for a photo shoot!

There were sweet treats from Dixie Crystals, creamy, refreshing mid-day smoothies from Georgia Peaches, rich chocolate from Pacari Chocolate, and to celebrate National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, an ice cream bar courtesy of the Florida Dairy Farmers.

Isabel Laessig - from Sunday Supper

Isabel Laessig – founder of Sunday Supper Movement

Isabel Lessig’s impetus for founding the Sunday Supper Movement was to bring families and friends together around the table. It promotes the closeness and bonding that comes from preparing and sharing food together. The 2015 Food and Wine Conference often felt like a family gathering organized and planned around sharing food, ideas, and love.

The generosity at the conference was palpable. Every attendee, whether they represented a small blog or a huge business, was there to learn and grow as well as to help others grow. The spirit of sharing with an open mind and an open heart was apparent throughout the weekend.

I can’t wait to see the photos from this amazing gathering. Photographer Ashlee Hamon returned to photograph the event. Her pictures for the 2014 Food and Wine Conference captured the spirit, the energy, and the joy of the conference. I can only imagine how good this next batch will be. Check out last year’s pics for a sneak peek!

Enjoying appetizers with some new friends!

Enjoying appetizers with some new friends!

beautiful chocolates at the opening reception

Beautiful chocolates at the opening reception

Selfies in the Photo Booth - With Shea from Dixie Chik Cooks

Selfies in the Photo Booth – With Shea from Dixie Chik Cooks


And don’t forget, there are lots of delicious recipes for every meal and every occasion on the Cabot website. Or sign up for the Cabot Newsletter, filled with tasty recipes, up-to-the-minute news and information, and exclusive online promotions.


Candace Karu reports on all there is to discover and love about food and farming as well as communicating Cabot’s mission to support community, volunteerism, and sustainability. Whether online, on air, or in person, her job is to amplify the passion and commitment of the 1200 farm families who own Cabot. When Candace is not representing Cabot, she lives, cooks, and works out in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Comments

Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) | July 22, 2015 | 10:26am

Great recap Candace! I’ve been there all 3 years and it’s been great to have Cabot Cheese as part of the Food & Wine Conference (and Sunday Supper) family!

christenrgowan | July 22, 2015 | 1:39pm

Wow, it looks like such a delicious event!

Jennifer | July 23, 2015 | 9:15am

Loved meeting you all! And proudly wearing my Sharp new T-shirt!

Cindy Kerschner | July 24, 2015 | 12:00pm

Great post! it was wonderful to see Cabot back at the Food and Wine Conference this year! I loved the pairing demo and I just had to give that Holstein a hug!

foodiestuntman | August 02, 2015 | 1:06am

Thank you for supporting the Food and Wine Conference! We were thrilled to have you!

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